Product Description: This is a scarce and desirable Judge Sporting Event Armband. It is unquestionably from before 1945, and may have been made in the 1930s or, possibly, even earlier. This one was worn and actually shows a fair amount of use. It was originally stitched together in the back, though this stitching has been removed, showing the contrast between the toned fabric that was exposed to wear and use, and the protected material in the seam. This Judge Sporting Event Armband is made of a pale blue fabric, with the word “Kampfrichter” (sports official) printed in black ink. The printing shows textbook bleed-through to the reverse, as is typical on period printed armbands. Along the edges, there are a few threads that appear to be remnants of stitching used to affix this to a sleeve. There is a very small and very minor area of fraying to the upper edge in front, but no holes or tears. This Judge Sporting Event Armband remains in excellent condition, and is a great example of a rare armband type.
Historical Description: Nearly every military, civil, political and paramilitary organization in existence during the Third Reich used armbands. Armbands were worn on military and civilian uniforms and also on civilian clothes, from suit jackets to work clothing. They were used to denote membership in organizations, to indicate a specific role or function of the bearer, and as insignia of rank. Many organizations would change the design of their armbands over time, which added to the variety produced. These were manufactured in countless variations, ranging from simple printed bands to elaborately hand-embroidered pieces of the highest quality. Some Nazi armbands were worn by all members of large organizations and were made by the millions. Others were intended for use at a specific time and place and were unique. Many types were made in very limited numbers. Some bore metal insignia or special identifiers that indicated the wearer’s rank, unit affiliation, or nationality. Armbands were sometimes but not always marked with ink stamps by the issuing authorities.
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